Rumour: Disney Imagineers have been actively working on new shows, merchandise, and updates for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, set to close in December 2023

Earlier this week, Disney announced the permanent closure of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser after its Sept. 28 voyage, and reports indicate that this was a last-minute decision that caught many on-site by surprise. However, sources close to the project have indicated that the immersive experience is scheduled to temporarily shut down after a few weeks.

Prior to this week’s announcement, it was expected internally that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser would stop selling reservations dated after December 2023. Based on recent internal reporting, this may have been to facilitate a series of updates and changes across the entire experience.

Rumors have been circulating for some time that the Starcruiser will undergo a transformation, either to feature a different set of storylines and characters or to become a more traditional hotel. It was assumed that an announcement would be made regarding the closure which would include information about the future of the Starcruiser. However, statements made by Disney this week seem to confirm that it will not return as the immersive two-night experience it once was, regardless of what it eventually returns to.

Imagineers were reportedly in Halycon as recently as this week working on a revamped Gaya dinner show, as well as researching new merchandise that was on the way, and new spots for the bartenders at the Sublight Lounge. This is clearly not the kind of investment of time and money you would put into something that you plan to close permanently.

According to sources, all of the Starcruiser crew (and those creators) were surprised by the announcement, as they had received no warning that this was a possibility.

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The question now is if and when Halcyon will return to service in some form or form down the road, but perhaps the fact that updates were in development means we may see the changes pay off, even if the Starcruiser experience returns in a completely different guise.

Star Wars: The Galactic Starcruiser shuts down permanently

Currently, reservations for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser have been paused through May 26 to allow Disney to work with those booked on flights after the final cruise scheduled for September 28. Once reservations resume next week, discounts will no longer be offered to Disney Vacation Club and Cast members as they were recently, and cruises will be charged at full cost.

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This announcement comes after months of disappointing occupancy. The Galactic Starcruiser debuted just over a year ago, and while reservations have been full for a while, current operations have reached a point where there were enough guests to fill one dinner service.

Low-occupancy cruises were canceled, and rumors suggested that Disney was opting not to renew several entertainment contracts. They started offering discounts to Disney Vacation Club members and Cast members recently as well.

Starcruiser won a TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in Brand Experience last year.

Before Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opened, it went through waves of sell-outs followed by mass cancellations. Before the grand opening in March 2022, several months are fully booked. Despite generally positive feedback, post-opening cancellations increased.

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Starcruiser featured an immersive Star Wars adventure for three days and two nights aboard a mock cruise ship as guests become part of a conflict between the Resistance and the First Order. It included a trip to Batuu, themed meals, and live entertainment.

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It also has a hefty price tag, with flights starting at $4,809 for two guests in the standard cabin, which comes with one queen bed and two double beds. The price goes up if you add more guests, with a family of four looking at over $6,000 for a standard cabin. Guests can also book larger rooms, such as the Galaxy Class Suite, which sleeps six in two bedrooms. The larger Grand Captain Suite sleeps eight guests for an even higher price.

Curious about the full experience? Check out our guide to everything Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser and our honest, in-depth review.

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  • Tom Corliss

    Tom has been a regular visitor to the Walt Disney World® Resort since he was 4 months old. Although he’s made countless hits in the last 28 years, he didn’t really become an active member of the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become a native of Orlando and is a published author at Walt Disney World. Contact Tom at [email protected]

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